What about the preworkout?

Fog wrote

I read your post on protein yesterday and was curious, what are your buying tips for finding good preworkout powders?

Fog

Fog

I have 5 rules here:

1. It should taste amazing. So far, nothing has beaten Valhalla Labs’ Fenris Fury in this arena.

2. None of that stevia b.s.- stevia may be a sweetener in theory but I feel it makes things taste nasty. To compensate for “off” taste, manufacturers throw in all sorts of other crap.

3. Nothing less than 4g citrulline, unless there is a equal or greater dose of AAKG in it.

4. No preworkout should cost more than $2 a serving. If it does, you’re paying for marketing and not quality.

5. Buy from A1 Supplements, Suppz, the Manufacturer, or Amazon.

I don’t know if you’re looking for specific brands, but Valhalla Labs and MuscleForce are my two favorite brands in this arena. Black Magic Supply is a close second. As far as taste goes, my motto is nothing lemon tea flavored (they taste like crap) and nothing flavored like cocktails (it won’t taste like the cocktail – and why would you want to combine the taste of alcohol with working out?).

One final thing- do not pour preworkout powder directly into your mouth. It’s insanely corrosive without water and it will kill your tooth enamel.

Good luck.

Sean

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Not all protein has to taste “off”

Anonymous wrote:

Hey, I came across this site a few days ago when I saw a link to a post from 2015. I have a question. Is there a protein powder that doesn’t taste “off”? I was doing Beachbody and Isogenix and can’t stand the taste or texture of any of those. Beachbody Cafe Latte is the absolute worst! I tried Thrive (I think that’s what it is called) and couldn’t stop gagging, and the GNC protein is the awful, but their sales people must be brainwashed because they all say it’s delicious. How do you take protein if it tastes like garbage?

Anonymous

Anonymous,

I am no fan of the brands you named either, but different people have different tastes and some of those companies offer more than just protein.

Here are the three brands I swear by:

Dymatize- Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla flavors are good across the board and it mixes and blends well. No amino spiking either.

Sparta Nutrition- Vanilla is an absolute winner and the fruit loopish cereal one is awesome. I like all of their flavors, except the one that is supposed to be like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It’s disgusting. No protein company has gotten that flavor 100% correct.

Outlaw Vanilla Protein- Vanilla and Chocolate taste great and it has CLA for extra fat burning.

No 5lb protein should cost over $59 and buy from manufacturer, on supplement sites like Suppz or A1 Supplements, or Amazon.

As I have said in the past, Vanilla is the standard I measure a protein by because it is the most versatile flavor due to the variety of what it can be blended with it. A crappy Vanilla flavor can throw off an entire smoothie. Over the years, I’ve tried several dozen protein brands and hundreds of flavors. I recommend staying away from GNC brands and BSN as they are often overpriced and have horrible flavors. GNCs AMP Vanilla tastes like burned plastic.

Finally, if you’re a coffee drinker, try Chike protein. Great coffee flavor and very smooth when mixed with milk. I get mine at HyVee.

There are a few other brands out there, and you have to try some samples before committing. Look for sample packs on the manufacturers’ websites for these.

Good luck

Sean

At the end of the world

I was recently lectured for using a plastic straw. Not a 3 foot straw…just a straw. The worst part was the woman that was lecturing me was holding a plastic Starbucks cup.

I’ll let you know right now that I am not a believer in the theory that the world is ending with in 12 years, nor do I believe that the world is in some kind of awful ecological shape. I also don’t fully subscribe to some of the science out there predicting where we will be in the future because of supposed global warming. It’s not that I don’t believe global warming exists, but I don’t think it the man-made portion is anywhere near the magnitude that some scientists say it is.

On the other hand, I do believe in land conservation, sustainable farming practices, and most of all, I believe littering is one of the worst things anyone could do to our earth.

The woman lecturing me rubbed me the wrong way because she epitomizes how I see many “eco-warriors” act today; they want to save the world but are often littering outdoor concert venues, beaches, and other outdoor spaces with their trash rather than putting it in a garbage or recycling can. These “social media ecology warriors” rage against things like plastic straws while rejecting aluminum and steel containers which are more sustainable and less damaging to the environment as plastic or paper (we need those trees). They viciously support moving to solar and wind energy (which are proven to cause massive bird deaths), rather than lobbying to support nuclear energy development and advances, and they flock to large cities which only adds to urban sprawl. They also throw cups/plates/paper products with food waste on it into recycling bins, which can ruin an entire load of recycling. Think about how many times you’ve seen a pizza box in recycling…it cannot be recycled.

Many of these people don’t want to farm, but many want to be a vegan who “sometimes” eats animal products. On the west coast, human waste on the street is washing into the ocean and causing marine die offs because we aren’t fixing a housing crisis – we are expecting taxes to fix a problem that requires an industry shift. I feel if people started passing up Silicon Valley jobs until the companies contributed to affordable housing or if people stopped renting/buying housing in San Fran, L.A. or Mountain View, the market could begin to correct itself.

Finally, these people also support vigorous legislation rather than shifting an industry by encouraging business competition, knowing legislation requires tax money to support it, people to manage it, more paper shuffling, more transportation, and more waste overall.

It’s easy to lecture someone about what you believe in, while not following the same guidelines. It’s easy to “share” a picture or video to try and sway others opinions. It’s not so easy to actually do the right thing and practice long term solutions, is it?

I eat meat & use plastic straws. I don’t always recycle. I don’t compost my food. I make a conscious decision to drive myself rather than taking public transit. I drink water from plastic bottles (sometimes from steel cups). These are all short term decisions. When I look at where we want to be in 12 years or even 30 years, we aren’t making good decisions because we’re doing the trendy thing and not the smart thing.

Before you go on bragging about your eco-progress or start lecturing someone (or supporting disastrous legislation), think about the bigger picture. Ask yourself if your action really fixes the problem long term, or if this going to result in a poorly managed subsequent problem. Support nuclear power (it’s killed less people and animals worldwide than any other energy source), invent something that revolutionizes an industry, learn to farm, recycle properly, eat balanced meals, and for God’s sake, pick up your damn garbage.

Kneel before Zod

PB wrote:

Hi Sean,

I am writing for some advice and hoping you can help. It’s not for me, and I am hoping a friend of mine who knows your blog reads this and sees she is constantly messing up.

SA, let’s call her, is constantly losing a job or quitting them because she feels she was meant for more in life, and the jobs with their rules and regulations, don’t match what she wants to do or follow in her life. Working a holiday? She’ll quit and say it’s because it’s too hard on her. Working long hours? She leaves because it’s for “mental health”. Stressful co-workers (she seems to find them at every job)? She will complain until they quit or she does.

I’ve tried to be understanding, but after 11 years of this, it’s ridiculous. The worst part is, her other friends and acquaintances seem to all coddle her and encourage this behavior rather than showing her it’s wrong and she will never get to where she wants to be if she doesn’t learn.

How else do I help her?

PB

PB,

I know people like this and it’s sad to see them constantly remain on the bottom rung of success in life and see them struggle financially. It’s even more frustrating when friends encourage these people to remain on that path rather than leveling up.

There will always be things you don’t like about any job…I can guarantee it. I love my job, but it’s not sunshine and rainbows every minute of every day. My New Years Eve is often stressful, as are a few other days of the year, and I can guarantee I will have at least 200 emails I will have to respond to if I take more than one day off.

Whatever stresses come my way, I always try to look at the larger perspective and be humble about where I am. If I like what I do, if I like my coworkers, if I am challenged, and if my income needs are being met, I am happy. I don’t care what other people do at work, it’s not up to me to be annoyed by other teams that have loud talkers, or people that spend 45 minutes talking in the breakroom 4 or 5 times a day, or the guys that spend an hour in the bathroom stall on their phones (it’s just gross, but it’s not me making the decision). What IS up to me is to do the best job I can and ensure my team is performing as they should.

I will be asked to work a bit on some days I took off (I took an early morning call while in Vancouver on family vacation), I will work holidays and some evenings, and I will be asked to do things that test my patience and stress me out. That’s life. If someone isn’t willing to give their best self at work, then they won’t have a best self to give outside of work.

Your success in personal life translates to success at work and vice versa. If you’re looking for the world to bend to your will and kneel at your feet, it just doesn’t work that way. Unless you own your own company, you are not going to direct 100% of your path at work and you will have rules, schedules, and managerial hierarchies to live by. Even if you DO your own company, you’re at the will of your customers. If you don’t like it, suck it up and push onward, doing phenomenal work, and move into better positions.

And mental health? Let’s address that part. Is it harder on mental health to have work stress, or to constantly be strapped for cash and unable to afford basics? I’d say not having steady income is much worse on mental health.

I don’t know how to help your friend if her other friends are encouraging her to stay where she is in life. It’s tough when others cannot see the damage they do to others by encouraging people to be less than the best they can be. Personally I see this type of thing quite a bit these days and it’s sad to think there is a piece of the population that feels life is all about them rather than feeling that they have an ability to contribute to something bigger than they are, even if it’s a large corporation. Every company in America is providing a legal good or service to a piece of the population and making those people’s lives greater. It’s wrong to stand in the way of that for selfish reasons.

If she reads this and gets the help she needs, I hope it lasts. If you want to read this to her, go ahead. In the end, the ones that want to be successful in life need to keep focused on churning out great work and being the best they can be, so it is sometimes beneficial to leave these people behind if they become too much of an anchor.

Sean

Half of my life

I turn 41 this month and I am feeling pretty good about it. Life is going well, and despite a few vendors cancelling out on review opportunities, I may have a few more coming.

My fitness routine is still going strong and work is going extremely well. I have an amazing team.

I have lived in MN for almost half of my life now, and it’s been a good ride. Lots of twists and turns have come my way over that time. I have had some heartbreak, some adventures, and I have watched both of my kids come into this world here.

I don’t know what the future will bring, but the 41 years under the bridge have all been a memorable experience.

The parade

Trellis wrote:

Sean,

My family and I had a falling out over Easter and I am hoping you can help. I just met this guy a few weeks ago and I am head over heels in love. It’s love too, I am 24 and know what love is and what it isn’t.

Anyway, I met this guy and he is totally different than my ex husband (yes- 24 and divorced), and he is crazy about me. We just can’t keep our hands off of each other!

We were not making out or anything with my family, but they said we were hanging on each other and making people uncomfortable after I brought him for Easter dinner. I told my mom that he was moving in this week and she got upset. When I fired back to my mom that he was “the one”, she got upset and said I have issues because I’d only been divorced for three weeks and she felt I was moving too fast. I said, “When it’s right, you know it’s right.” We left shortly after and I don’t know what to do. Help!

Trellis

Trellis,

So you’ve been divorced for three weeks and have decided a guy you met a few weeks ago is “the one”? Yikes. No offense, but I sense you’re most likely a train wreck. I am not knocking you feeling your emotions or being really into this guy, but the truth is, no one knows who they really are until 25 or later, so you’re really jumping the gun here. To top that off, you’ve been married before and obviously thought the first dude was worth marrying, so after just three weeks of being divorced, don’t blame your mom for showing concern that you’re moving way too fast. Listen to your parents and slow it down. Your decision making skills and impulse control are definitely lacking.

If whatever you have with this guy is solid, he will understand. Give it several months, and get to know him. Don’t jump into this knee deep in a few short weeks. Get to know him better…not physically, just emotionally/mentally. If you fail to do this, you’ll be twice divorced by 25.

Sean

Supplement review: Valhalla Labs PT 2

“I am impressed beyond belief.”

That is what I told someone who asked me how the supplements from Valhalla Labs are going with me.

Awhile back, I reviewed Fenris Fury preworkout from Valhalla Labs and it is, hands down, the best preworkout I’ve ever used, which made me more interested in trying the rest of the product line.

Typically, a supplement manufacturer makes one or two supplements well, and the rest of the line is substandard, but is there to keep drawing people back to the “all stars”. Valhalla Labs line is all around fantastic and I’ll walk through the awesomeness right now.

1. Battle Mead Intra and Battle Mead Post – Both of these have an apple cider type of flavor that tastes great, and the results are great. They are sold together and you should take them together, and they are a great value.

Battle Mead Intra is unlike many other Intras because it doesn’t contain a boatload of carbs, but IS loaded with other ingredients that provide better results by driving more blood and nutrients into muscle cells. I have 15-18% body fat that I am working to lose and have struggled for years to get rid of it. I can gain muscle like a madman, but I have struggled to lose fat, and it may because I’d been carb boosting before or during a workout like I’d been taught to do. I even had a trainer once suggest I take a handful of gummy bears or skittles mid-workout along with an intra-drink. It turns out it’s a bad practice. Battle Mead Intra, with R-Ala (helps with muscle synthesis), cinnamon (assists in glucose transportation), chromium p (raises glucose sensitivity), vanadyl sulfate (helps glucose synthesis when resting), glutamine (prevents muscle deterioration), and isoleucine (it’s like a snowplow of carbs into muscle tissue), promotes some serious muscle synthesis. Taurine, creatine and a 2:1 Glucose-dextrose blend prevent muscle cramping and create muscle engorgement. It’s a perfect blend that took years to make, but it’s well-made and it shows in the results. It mixes well, and there are some snowballs in the shaker when taking this but that’s to be expected with an intraworkout.

Battle Mead Post is very similar in ingredients to Intra, but it has Leucine without Isoleucine (they work better independently) and some sucrose that provides the insulin surge post workout, which is the time you need it. The result is more dextrose being funneled to the muscle tissue and more IGF-1 being produced.

Together, these two behemoths provide the perfect training tool to push through the long workouts with better results. Where I had bulk before, I now have defined muscle. My biceps and triceps are wider, and the added definition is crazy.

Of course, results for men are always improved with a test booster…unfortunately, many test boosters are absolute garbage. Many don’t contain estrogen inhibitors or quality ingredients, which ends up with mood swings, a dead sex drive, or serious breakouts…all with no results.

Thor’s Hammer and ToddLeeMD.com Test Booster is an incredible test booster combo for an insane value. The key here is to cycle the two pieces of the puzzle. Take the ToddLeeMD.com Test Booster 2 days on, then one day off, but take Thor’s Hammer daily. Take right away in the morning on an empty stomach. Both are a blue raspberry flavor, which allows you to take them together without worrying about differing flavors.

Thor’s Hammer has a solid anti-estrogen complex in it that is made up of arimistane (androsta-3,5-diene-7,17-dione), ellagic acid, Resveratrol, and 7,8 Benzoflavone (helps boost testosterone while inhibiting prostaglandin), which helps raise testosterone levels, make luteinizing hormone levels go up, and stop testosterone from being converted to estrogen. This combo is extremely effective and I haven’t seen it used in any test booster before.

As an added benefit, agmatine sulfate (NO booster for pumps), L-Cartinine (turns fat into energy), kudzu (increases growth hormone and makes L-Carnitine more effective), Marus Alba (amplifies growth hormone), and calcium lactate (starts the whole test machine pumping when you take it).

ToddLeeMd.com Test Booster is a 3g mix of D-Aspartic acid (sodium D aspartate) and vitamin D3, which increase testosterone production from a testicular and glandular level.

Together, these two provide a noticeable increase in testosterone with no side effects. Sex drive also increases, workouts get way more productive, and muscle is added as a result. Your body then also produces less cortisol, which allows your body to burn whatever fat is left. When combined with Fenris Fury, workouts are INTENSE and physical benefits of the combo are noticed after only taking a few weeks.

At night, I tried Dragon Dreams, to help with my sleep issues. For those of you that don’t know, I was a radio DJ for years and was also working 1-2 other jobs to make ends meet (because radio pays horribly). This led to a lack of sleep, overindulgence in energy drinks, and an even greater inability to sleep. Weight gain then happened, and my health began to slide. When I got out of radio, I set out to change my personal health and professional life, and I have done that…but sleep issues have always plagued me.

I’ve tried a zillion sleep supplements. Straight 10mg melatonin just left me with headaches. Other powders gave me initial sleep but I ended up waking up repeatedly or getting up in the morning feeling like I was drunk. Dragon Dreams offers a sleep solution that allows me to fall asleep quickly, but stay asleep for a good 7 or 8 hours with no waking. I say “no waking”, and I mean if “undisturbed”…if my 2 year old son calls for me in the night, I can still get up and attend to him, but go right back to sleep within a minute or two of getting back into bed. It’s got a nice peach flavor and it mixes better than any other sleep powder I’ve tried.

So what’s in it?

GABA-Helps the brain relax…like seriously relax.

Arginine AKG-Helps get the GABA to the right place.

L-Citrulline-Converts to arginine to help wave 2.

Phenibut-kicks in later as a wave 2 of relaxation

Valerian Root and Lemon Balm-Helps keep GABA from converting away from its relaxation providing state.

L-Theanine-promotes relaxation and stress relief without drowsiness.

Kudzu-increases growth hormone while you slumber blissfully

Stinging Nettle-helps with pain relief, prostate function and a host of other things.

Melatonin-the relaxation hormone naturally produced by the body. Too much of this and you can get a headache, and too little and you’re wasting money…but Dragon Dreams has just the right amount to get a great night of sleep.

I can honestly say I have never fallen asleep so fast and never slept better as I have with Dragon Dreams. This stuff is practically pure magic.

Finally, I tried Wrath of the Valkyrie from Valhalla Labs, their fat burner/fat burning cream combo. I honestly didn’t have high expectations for this because I’ve tried fat burners in the past (even ephedra) and hadn’t seen results. I had even tried fat burning cream that was money down the drain…BUT, like the rest of Valhalla Labs’ lineup, this one proved effective. While many fat burners (like some test boosters out there) are underdosed or completely poorly formulated garbage, Wrath of the Valkyrie provides a unique formulation that leads to noticeable results.

I’ve always had some “insulation” on my midsection. No matter how hard I work on it with eating and exercise, I have never had a trim midsection with visible abs. Not even one ab, for that matter. Wrath of the Valkyrie is getting me closer than ever before and I anticipate I will see some abs by the time I am able to wear shorts. This isn’t a magic pill, which means you still need to exercise and eat right, but by doing just that and adding in Wrath of the Valkyrie, you should see results too.

The cream consists of Yohimbine HCL, which offers a gender targeted fat burn (mainly abs for men and hips/butt for women). It rubs in easily, is odorless, and gives good moisture too.

The pill part is a 3 stage (and NO crash) fat burn with ingredients such as T2 Diiodo-L-Thyronine (aids thyroid function without the need for super caffeination, making it a top of the line fat burner), more Yohimbine HCL (targeted fat burn), synephrine HCL (boosts energy and suppresses appetite), hesperidin (restricts fat accumulation), cayenne (helps speed up metabolism and decrease appetite), L-Carnitine (turns fat into energy), HMB (this preserves muscle while fat burning happens), and about a large coffee’s worth of caffeine and some teacrine, which provides an energy boost with no tolerance buildup. The result of this cream combo is remarkable. I just replaced the pants in my wardrobe last year and may have to do it again due to the loss of size in my mid-section. I also finally had someone say, “looks like you’re getting abs” for the first time EVER, which feels pretty good. Wrath of the Valkyrie is a top notch fat burner with no crash, steady energy all day long, and great results.

So there you have it. Valhalla Labs lineup of products (they also have vitamins and clothing available too, worth checking out). I really hope you give them a try by clicking here. I know you won’t be disappointed, they have been the best supplement line I have tried so far (and I’ve tried A TON). I can’t say enough about this brand…I was extremely fortunate to find them and hope you check them out.

Sean